For Cindy Ougler, the Sault Ste. Marie YMCA has been part of her life since she was a baby. Now 52, she finds time to volunteer at least 10 hours a week at the YMCA.
“I volunteer at Sault Ste. Marie YMCA since I was 12, but I am a member of Sault Ste. Marie YMCA since the age of one month. I familiarized myself with every square inch of this beautiful old facility practically from the time I could crawl, and grew up there, participating in almost every program available as I grew from childhood to life. ‘adolescence and, ultimately, adulthood ”. Said Ougler. “My mother, Pat MacKinnon, was not only a member and lifelong volunteer, but also an employee in Sault Ste. Marie YMCA. She finally retired at age 75 and instilled in me a sense of duty and responsibility to others.
For 20 years, Ougler has volunteered with the YBC basketball program which runs Saturdays from September through May. She’s in the gym with them from noon to 6 p.m. “I help coordinate the volunteer coaches, administer the program and provide moral support to the children and their parents,” she says.
Ougler says she looks forward to seeing children learn not only athletic skills, but also life skills through the program – teamwork and fair play being most relevant.
“I find my volunteer work at the YMCA very rewarding, but there is nothing more rewarding than seeing some of the young participants coming back as teens and young adults as volunteers themselves,” she says.
Ougler was also a director and president of Sault Ste. YMCA Marie Board of Directors. This experience on the board led her to take on her next endeavor: helping with philanthropy and raising funds for the Strong Kids campaign.
“With the support of Strong Kids, I have taken full advantage of a wide range of programs that have helped me grow into the adult I am today,” she says. “These programs weren’t limited to the District of Algoma, so I was able to spread my wings across Ontario, Canada and beyond our national borders, which allowed me to see first-hand the impact. international priceless of the Y.
Ougler attributes most of her happiness and success to the time she spent volunteering at the YMCA and hopes others will consider adding volunteer work to their schedules.
“I encourage everyone to volunteer whenever they can. If you’ve never volunteered before, you’ll be surprised how rewarding it can be to lend your skills and knowledge to a good cause, ”said Ougler. “If you can’t volunteer your time, I would ask you to donate to Sault Ste. Marie YMCA Strong Kids so that every child has the opportunity to participate in YMCA programs. Hope to be able to volunteer for a very long time. Once I retire, I will be able to devote even more time to volunteering at Sault Ste. Marie YMCA. “